The Creative Process, Illumination.

Every work of art has an origin. It has a creator, with a need for expression. And the result of this drive to express is the birthing of a work of art.

Art and creativity take on many various forms, and works of art can be brought about through many varying circumstances. However, there can be found within most great works of art, a process which was developed and utilized by its creator.

Recognizing patterns within the artwork can aid in understanding the process that was used in it’s creation. This is especially true in music. When I ask a student to write a song, often the first attempt is a messy conglomeration of notes and chords completely lacking cohesion and form. Melodies wander with no particular purpose and it can be difficult to pick out a single phrase or pattern in the mess.

And so I introduce the idea of form. We talk about phrases and structure and… Process.

I have found that the most brilliant creator of all used a process in one of his great works of art. And he documented his process so that we might have the opportunity to study and glean from his wisdom as a master creator:

Genesis 1

“First this: God created the Heavens and Earth-All you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.

God spoke: “Light!”

and light appeared.

God saw that light was good and separated light from dark.

God named the light Day, he named the dark Night.

It was evening, it was morning-Day One.”


Separation from darkness.


I’ve begun to see illumination as the first step of his creative process.

Illumination: (From Webster)
1:  the action of illuminating or state of being illuminated: asa :  spiritual or intellectual enlightenmentb (1) :  a lighting up (2) :  decorative lighting or lighting effectsc :  decoration by the art of illuminating

I see illumination as the act of shedding light onto something formerly left in the darkness.

What a great place to start.

As creatives, we immerse ourselves in culture seeking to experience life in all it’s depths. We experience pain and tragedy, we experience joy and beauty, and in all of that we see the contrasting elements of darkness and light, good and evil, at odds with each other. And so we seek for truth. We even ask questions like “What is truth?”.


Shedding light.

Perhaps this element is even tied into justice. Being a voice for those who have no voice. Bringing light to hidden acts of darkness and oppression.


It’s a great place to begin a creative journey. What will my artwork shed light on? How will I use my voice and my creativity to bring truth to something hidden in darkness?

And… If illumination is the place where our creator began… What was being brought to light through his creativity? What idea was so burning inside of him, so in need of expression that he responded to it by creating the world, the galaxies and humanity…

What was he illuminating?

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